Building Chicken Coops For Dummies
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Building materials can vary widely when it comes to chicken coops because many people simply reuse materials they already have on-hand. But if you’re making out a shopping list for your chicken coop, these items will probably be on it:

  • Framing lumber: The skeleton of the coop is most often made up of 2x4s or 2x3s. For a large walk-in coop’s structural floor joists and/or roof rafters, you may need to upgrade to 2x6s or 2x8s. Skids or support posts may call for heavy 4x4s.

  • Plywood: For creating floors, cladding walls, and sheathing roofs, sheet lumber like plywood is typically used. Depending on the application, oriented strand board (OSB) or T1-11 paneling may be a good alternative. Different thicknesses are available.

  • Nails/screws: In all likelihood, you’ll need both nails and screws for various steps of your coop build; you’ll find times and applications where a nail simply won’t do a screw’s job, and vice versa. Choose fasteners that suit your building application and your coop’s weather conditions. Shingled roofs require special roofing nails.

  • Roofing shingles: Protect your finished coop with a layer of asphalt roofing shingles, just like the ones on a typical home. Alternatively, corrugated roofing panels of metal or fiberglass can be used.

  • Wire mesh: Most coops feature runs wrapped in heavy-gauge wire mesh. It can also be used to cover windows, vents, or other gaps in the shelter and make them predator-proof.

  • Fencing staples: Use special U-shaped nails to fasten wire mesh in place.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Todd Brock is a television writer and producer whose work includes PBS's Growing a Greener World, DIY Network's Fresh From the Garden, and HGTV's Ground Breakers. He is the coauthor of Building Chicken Coops For Dummies. Dave Zook owns Horizon Structures, which makes custom chicken coops. Rob Ludlow is the owner of, a top source on raising chickens, and the coauthor of Raising Chickens For Dummies. Rob and his family raise a small flock in their backyard.

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